Category Archives: Learning

Women’s Bible Study

Wednesdays, 7 pm, Parlor
January 10 – February 7, 2024

Women of all ages are invited to join Pastor Schnelle on a five-week journey through the compelling tale of Ruth and Naomi. Together, let’s explore the remarkable lives of these women and discover how their story resonates with our own experiences of loss, change, transformation, independence, respect, empowerment, and the various transitions in our lives.

“Baobab Blast” Vacation Bible School

Join Gethsemane Lutheran’s “Baobab Blast” VBS Week:
June 19-23, 2023 from 8:45 am to 12 pm

Register Your Child to Attend VBS Week

Gethsemane invites all children age 3 by June 19, 2023, including those completing 6th grade, to register for our FREE in-person VBS Week! 6th graders may also choose to assist as a volunteer. 7th graders and older can sign up to assist with VBS as volunteers. You are encouraged to invite friends, relatives, and neighbors to participate in this fun outreach ministry!

Each day begins with opening songs and stories in the sanctuary at 8:45 am. You are welcome to come any time after 8:15 am; there will be supervision on the church grounds. The morning includes storytelling, music, craft time, recreation/games, and a light snack. Each day there will be an opportunity to bring an offering of money or canned goods to support the Gethsemane Food Pantry.

***Each day the person picking up their child(ren) after VBS must come into the narthex to sign them out for the day with their group leader.***

All are invited to the closing program on Friday morning at 11:30 am in the sanctuary followed by a hotdog lunch in the Multi-Purpose Room with a freewill offering to help with VBS expenses.

Volunteer at VBS

We need help in the craft area, preparing and serving snacks, the storytelling room, games, and being a guide to lead the children from one area to another. This is a great opportunity to make new friends and make a difference in the lives of children. You are invited to volunteer even if you can only assist one day. Gethsemane is grateful to all who lead Vacation Bible School! Adults of all ages as well as 6th graders and older can sign up to volunteer at VBS.

Order VBS T-Shirts

Gethsemane VBS 2023 T-Shirts are available for $12 or $15 each. Your shirts will be delivered during VBS. Order and pay by Monday, June 5th to be guaranteed a shirt. Deliver cash or check payable to Gethsemane to the church office. You may also pay online using the “OTHER (please specify)” section and adding an additional 3% processing fee.

Ash Wednesday – February 22, 2023

Ash Wednesday Services will be held on February 22 at Noon and 7 pm

The Season of Lent commences Ash Wednesday, February 22nd with the Christian faithful receiving ashes and meditating at the Gethsemane altar from 7-8 am, 11 am to noon and/or 5:30-7 pm.

Ashes will also be offered for pickup to-go. Call the church office to arrange a pickup.

Ash Wednesday In-Person Eucharist Services:

Lent is a traditional time of reflection, meditation, and preparation. Pick up an “Into the Wild” Lenten devotional in the Narthex or download a digital copy. The Season of Lent is a season of walking into the wild, a 40-day journey filled with wild beasts, wild love, beauties, challenges, gifts, and visions. A journey that begins with ashes, and ends with joy. Gethsemane Lutheran congregants and friends are invited to take this adventure with Henri Matisse, one of the more daring, influential, and beloved artists in modern history. He once said he “liked to pray with a pencil: at the moment I go every morning to say my prayers, pencil is in hand; I stand in front of a pomegranate tree covered in blossom, each flower at a different stage, and I watch their transformation..filled with admiration for the work of God. Is this not a way of praying”? People of the Lenten journey-young and old-grab a pencil ( or a crayon, or a paintbrush!) your favorite Bible, and a decent internet connection (all the paintings referenced in the devotional can be found online – see the Companion Link Sheet for guidance). Week by week, with the words of Scripture and the art of Henri Matisse as a guide, head into the wild-all the way to the beautiful, joyful love of the coming new day!

Lenten Wednesday Gatherings

Join Lenten Wednesday Multigenerational Gatherings:
March 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29

LENTEN WEDNESDAY 12 PM SERVICE

We’ll have our regular Holy Communion noon service throughout the Lenten season. These services will be recorded.

“INTO THE WILD” 6 PM DINNER & DEVOTIONS FOR ALL AGES IN THE PARLOR

Journey “Into the Wild” together beginning with a simple supper in the Parlor followed by multigenerational devotion time and a simple craft that ties in with the “Into the Wild” Lenten devotional. The craft will be added to the Lenten Narthex display that will change and grow throughout Lent beginning on Ash Wednesday.

LENTEN “PRAYER AROUND THE CROSS” 7 PM SERVICE

“Bless Now, O God, The Journey” will be simple, quiet and reflective prayer around the cross through chants, readings, scriptures, prayers and lighting of candles. All are welcome to come for this brief prayer service to be ‘Rooted Together’ in faith during this Lenten season. These services are livestreamed.

Lent is a traditional time of reflection, meditation, and preparation. Pick up an “Into the Wild” Lenten devotional in the Narthex or download a digital copy. The Season of Lent is a season of walking into the wild, a 40-day journey filled with wild beasts, wild love, beauties, challenges, gifts, and visions. A journey that begins with ashes, and ends with joy. Gethsemane Lutheran congregants and friends are invited to take this adventure with Henri Matisse, one of the more daring, influential, and beloved artists in modern history. He once said he “liked to pray with a pencil: at the moment I go every morning to say my prayers, pencil is in hand; I stand in front of a pomegranate tree covered in blossom, each flower at a different stage, and I watch their transformation..filled with admiration for the work of God. Is this not a way of praying”? People of the Lenten journey-young and old-grab a pencil ( or a crayon, or a paintbrush!) your favorite Bible, and a decent internet connection (all the paintings referenced in the devotional can be found online – see the Companion Link Sheet for guidance). Week by week, with the words of Scripture and the art of Henri Matisse as a guide, head into the wild-all the way to the beautiful, joyful love of the coming new day!

“Into the Wild” Lent Devotional

Lent is a traditional time of reflection, meditation, and preparation. Pick up an “Into the Wild” Lenten devotional in the Narthex or download a digital copy. The Season of Lent is a season of walking into the wild, a 40-day journey filled with wild beasts, wild love, beauties, challenges, gifts, and visions. A journey that begins with ashes, and ends with joy. Gethsemane Lutheran congregants and friends are invited to take this adventure with Henri Matisse, one of the more daring, influential, and beloved artists in modern history. He once said he “liked to pray with a pencil: at the moment I go every morning to say my prayers, pencil is in hand; I stand in front of a pomegranate tree covered in blossom, each flower at a different stage, and I watch their transformation..filled with admiration for the work of God. Is this not a way of praying”? People of the Lenten journey-young and old-grab a pencil ( or a crayon, or a paintbrush!) your favorite Bible, and a decent internet connection (all the paintings referenced in the devotional can be found online – see the Companion Link Sheet for guidance). Week by week, with the words of Scripture and the art of Henri Matisse as a guide, head into the wild-all the way to the beautiful, joyful love of the coming new day!

Joyful Poetry of Advent Devotional

Joyful Poetry of Advent: A pilgrimage through Advent based on the poetry of E.E. Cummings

Free Advent Devotional Available to Gethsemane Members

Pick up a copy in the Narthex or check G-News for a downloadable version.

The son of a pastor and a thoughtful theologian in his own right, E. E. Cummings often explored spiritual terrain in his poetry – including a group of brilliant, inventive, provocative poems related to Advent and Christmas.

In this Advent devotional, biblical texts and Cummings’ poems call us to keep awake, watch, and wait for God to arrive on Christmas morning. All you’ll need is your favorite Bible and Cummings’ “Complete Poems” (all the poems referenced in the devotional can also be found online). Week by week, simple candlelight services and weekly practices will help us read, reflect, sing, and prepare – all for the sake of deepening the joys of the season.

God’s Work Our Hands and Rally Sunday 2022

Sunday, September 11th

Don’t miss this exciting day at Gethsemane! Wear or plan to purchase a “God’s Work Our Hands” shirt to wear for this day of service together.

Gather for Rally Sunday in the multipurpose room at 9:30 am to celebrate the beginning of a new year of growing in faith together. After the opening, children and youth will meet with their teachers. Parents are asked to go with them to get them registered.

Following the 10:30 am worship, enjoy a delicious BBQ lunch prepared by Gethsemane members Greg & Debbie Pitts (aka Rusted Shut BBQ) in the multipurpose room.

After lunch, participate in the annual “God’s Work Our Hands” multi-generational opportunity for service work restoring/reconciling communities.

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Make pet toys for the Austin Humane Society
  • Donate food and clothes for the Food Pantry & Clothes Closet
  • Give blood at the “We Are Blood” blood mobile in the Gethsemane parking lot
  • Contribute birthday party supplies for single mother families at The Jeremiah Project
  • Work on GLCM outdoor campus beautification
  • Clean up around the church campus, including the kitchen pantry and MPR tables
  • Sign greeting cards to Gethsemane members in need of love and prayers
  • Bring baked goods to deliver to local emergency responders and to enjoy as a community after lunch
  • Donate costumes, dress-up, pajamas, and accessories (ALL MUST BE NEW) and/or monetary donations for Katrina’s Cocoon Crew to bring smiles to children battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses

Signup sheets for each of these opportunities are available in the narthex or email info@gethsemaneaustin.org to sign up.

See you there!

November was Wellness Month at Gethsemane

If you missed any of our virtual wellness sessions in November, you can now watch recordings of them! Links available below.

WEEKLY VIRTUAL WELLNESS SESSIONS

Virtual wellness sessions for all ages weekly throughout the month of November:

Week 1:

EXERCISE/YOGA – Free virtual yoga session led by Dana Huntsman on Sunday, November 1st at 3 p.m.
This yoga session is suitable for all ages and abilities. Wear comfortable clothes, grab a yoga mat/towel and water, and join us! Exercise involves engaging in physical activity and increasing the heart rate beyond resting levels. It is an important part of preserving physical and mental health. Yoga is an excellent form of exercise as it develops a relationship between your body, mind, and spirit through different body postures, meditation and breathing patterns. Maintaining a regular yoga practice provides numerous physical and mental health benefits.

WATCH THE RECORDING: https://www.facebook.com/114035451960346/videos/3432627210154027

Week 2:

MENTAL HEALTH – Free virtual “Families Together” Mental Health Workshop led by NAMI Central Texas on Saturday, November 7th from 1-3 p.m.
In the United States, almost half of adults will experience a mental illness during their lifetime. Hear compelling personal stories about living with mental illness and achieving recovery. Understand the reality of living with mental health conditions that are often invisible to others. You’ll also have a chance to ask questions, which allows for a deeper understanding of mental health conditions and helps dispel stereotypes and misconceptions.

*No recording available for this session, but NAMI Central Texas offers this session frequently through their website: https://namicentraltx.org/families/online-family-class/

Week 3:

NUTRITION – Free virtual workshop on nutrition led by Gethsemane member Tracy Anderson on Sunday, November 15th at 3 p.m.
Eating a nutritious diet offers numerous health benefits that keep you mentally and physically well. Healthy food provides the energy you need to keep active throughout the day and the nutrients you need for growth and repair, helping you to stay strong and healthy.

WATCH THE RECORDING: https://www.facebook.com/114035451960346/videos/373334784088298

Week 4:

SLEEP – Free virtual workshop on sleep hygiene led by Gethsemane member Mary Lou Newman on Sunday, November 22nd at 3 p.m.
We have so many demands on our time—jobs, family, errands—not to mention finding time to relax. To fit everything in, we often sacrifice sleep. But sleep is vital to your well-being. Insufficient sleep is linked to a host of health problems, from depression to cardiovascular disease. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle.

WATCH THE RECORDING: https://www.facebook.com/114035451960346/videos/737540007111701

Week 5:

MEDITATION/MINDFULNESS – Free virtual workshop on meditation and mindfulness led by Pastor Susan Schnelle on Sunday, November 29th at 3 p.m.
Studies have shown mindfulness meditation to positively impact both mental and physical health by reducing stress, improving sleep, increasing focus and improving relationships.

WATCH THE RECORDING: https://www.facebook.com/114035451960346/videos/377117903540834

SUNDAY MORNING WORSHIP

Join us for Sunday morning virtual worship services, which will also be centered around wellness during the month of November.

Virtual Mental Health Workshops for Teens & Parents

Join us online on Sunday, October 18th from 3-4 p.m. for two simultaneous workshops – one for teens and one for parents – led by NAMI Central Texas.

This event is FREE, but you must register to receive the Zoom access link.
Parent registration form: https://forms.gle/MTMH4DHNLAgNzjhCA
Teen registration form: https://forms.gle/LxrDCfSMidxUaCqU7

ENDING THE SILENCE – PRESENTATION FOR TEENS

Geared to middle and high school students; presenters include a positive role model – a young adult living in recovery from a mental health condition

Understanding what it means to live with a mental health condition is critical for middle and high school students – especially given that 50% of all lifetime cases of mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24. This presentation is geared to not only raise awareness of mental health conditions but to reduce the stigma so that individuals can seek help.

What students will learn:

  • Signs and symptoms of mental illness
  • Statistics on mental illness and it’s affect on middle and high school students
  • How to seek help for themselves or a friend
  • Recovery and coping strategies
  • Understanding mental illness and ways to reduce the stigma

What students will keep:

  • Contact information for mental health agencies and youth support services
  • List of symptoms and warning signs of mental illness

LET’S TALK – PRESENTATION FOR PARENTS

More than 40% of teens are not receiving the care and treatment they need–often because they are too embarrassed to talk about mental health or don’t know how to ask for help. Parents don’t know how to bring up this difficult subject with their children either. This one-hour presentation empowers parents to talk to their teens about mental health by dispelling mental health myths and providing useful resources and healthy language to use.

What parents will learn:

  • How to talk to your teen about mental health
  • The difference between bad behavior and symptoms of mental illness
  • Early warning signs of a teen in crisis